Metabolic Demands of Rock Climbing in Transfemoral Amputees
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This pilot study compared the energy expenditure required to climb an indoor rock wall, in amputees utilizing five prosthetic configurations. Three experienced climbers (1M age 21 yr, 2F ages 30 and 49 yr) with unilateral transfemoral amputation climbed a 9.14 m indoor rock wall, 5.9 Yosemite Decimal Scale rating, using the following prosthetic configurations: 1. no prosthesis; 2. stubby prosthesis-foot forward; 3. stubby prosthesis-foot backward; 4. articulated prosthesis-knee unlocked; 5. articulated prosthesis-knee locked. Subjects climbed three times with each configuration resulting in 15 climbs per subject. Metabolic data was collected using the COSMED K4b(2) system. VO(2) was 15, 18 and 20% greater in the articulated unlocked condition (mean+/-SE: 20.5+/-0.8 ml.kg (-1).min (-1)), and 11, 13 and 15% greater in the articulated locked condition (19.7+/-0.9 ml.kg (-1).min (-1)), compared to the no prosthesis (17.8+/-0.7 ml.kg (-1).min (-1)), stubby backward (17.4+/-0.7 ml.kg (-1).min (-1)) and stubby forward (17.1+/-0.9 ml.kg (-1).min (-1)) conditions. Participants expended 11-20% more energy using the articulated prostheses than with the stubby and no prosthesis conditions. In persons with transfemoral amputation, use of an articulated prosthesis in indoor rock climbing may be a disadvantage in many aspects including competition, training, rehabilitation and satisfaction with the activity.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Amputees, Artificial Limbs, Energy Metabolism, Mountaineering, Oxygen Consumption, Pilot Projects, Prosthesis Design
Highsmith, M. J.; Kahle, J. T.; Fox, J. L.; Shaw, Keiba; Quillen, W. S.; and Mengelkoch, L. J., "Metabolic Demands of Rock Climbing in Transfemoral Amputees" (2010). Department of Physical Therapy Faculty Articles. 17.